Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism – this was written in 1916

Posted: August 4, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Lenin’s definition of imperialism that included five basic features:
(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life;

(2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy;

(3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance;

(4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves,


(5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.
Lenin, [January-June 1916] Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, LCW 22: 266-67

As such Lenin defined imperialism (LCW 22: 238-39) as: “that highest stage of capitalism in which this separation reaches vast proportions”.

Lenin described Imperialism as “the monopoly stage of capitalism”.

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